In the Colorado Rockies, near the town of Vail, the X-Jet has set the team down to find and take a mutant that has been causing problems. The X-Men were notified of its presence through one of their scouting contacts. All they know is that the mutant is big, and has been known to violently attack humans. The team have been told to bring in the threat by any means, though preferably alive, and with as little contact with the locals as possible.
The team find themselves in a clearing, surrounded by tall evergreen trees, but with a break in the trees showing Vail only a mile to the east.
Monday, 25th May
"Well.... We're here." Rage
stated the obvious as she glanced around the clearing. It was a pretty area... If you liked that sort of thing. The dancer was glancing around at the trees as if she expected Caliban to come bursting towards them.... Or pine needles to land in her hair. "Any idea where to start?" She tore her gaze away from the offending plants and turned her attention to her companions. She felt very far out of her comfort zone at this point.
"Hey kids," came a male voice from the other side of the clearing. Theodore
, a.k.a. Psystorm, was sitting on a stump of a fallen tree. He looked at the group and spotted that they were all young ladies. The man stood and ran over, giving a slight nod to each of them as he stopped. "My apologies ladies, but I was expecting more....well, just more." His strong accent didn't hide the puzzlement in his voice as his mismatched eyes traveled over their thin frames with confusion. "This boy is big. Real big. Are you ladies sure you can handle this?"
As far from sure as possible, Tory
was so nervous that she was hovering slightly behind Rage. It was possible that she might just take off after the X-Jet and see how far she would make it, but since she was chosen for this particular mission, she would see it through. The voice startled her, and she turned to see the man approaching them. She knew his face (who could forget that scar?) from the files and she glanced at Light and Rage, as if sizing them up as well. "I think we can handle it," she answered quietly.
With a hand running fingers through her hair to push any loose strands back away from her face, Light
stepped out of the X-Jet behind Rage and Tory, walking up beside them, only to pause as she spotted Theodore. She blinked suspiciously, hand held at her side and poised to attack should the unfamiliar face decide to make any wrong moves. However, the man seemed... well, polite wasn't the word, but perhaps friendly, enough, and seemed to know why the girls were there. Light dropped the defensive stance and, with her weight on one leg, crossed her arms over her chest. "You don't trust a pretty bunch like us to take down one mutie?" she questioned arrogantly, eyebrows raised.
Without missing a beat, Theodore
looked at Light with amusement in his eyes. "If you were as pretty as this boy is powerful, I don't think we'd have a problem. And trust me, you lot are about as pretty as they come." He couldn't figure out who was the leader, so he focused on Tory, who was standing in the center. "I take it you all read my report? This one is preferably a capture alive situation. Might be easier to knock him out. But I haven't tried the attractive female approach yet. The attractive male approach only got a tree thrown at me." He gave Rage a wink as he said 'attractive male', but didn't really say anything else on the subject. "I can lead to where I last saw him if you like."
had turned to face the owner of the strange voice when he first spoke up and stayed silent throughout his explanation. That last bit caused her to choke back a laugh as the image of the man trying to flirt with the large mutant and then dodging a tree came into her mind's eye. "We'd appreciate being led to the spot..." She glanced at Tory and Light questioningly, "As long as everyone here is ready to go." She had decided not to say anything about his doubts in them. Nothing they could say would really be reassuring until they had proven themselves useful.
Before Theodore could reply, a gunshot could be heard in the distance uphill, in the opposite direction of the town, followed by a bestial roar that echoed around the mountainous area.
The sound of gunshot broke Tory
out of her silent contemplation about her ability to partake in this mission. Being weaponless and uncertain of herself didn't stop her from taking to the air and zipping past Theodore in the direction of the roar. It also didn't occur to her that they would at all have trouble keeping up with her as she flew into the treeline and towards the sounds.
A single eyebrow slowly lifted at Theodore's poor attempt at a joke, and Light
glanced to Rage briefly to reassure herself that the dancer wouldn't fall for some effortless flirting like what the young man was putting on. When the girl laughed, however, the lavender headed vixen simply rolled her eyes and let her gaze fall back on Theodore, in case he had anymore direction to give him. However, the moment was stifled as a gunshot and a feral call echoed around them. Light jumped slightly and turned to face the direction of the sound, only to witness Tory flying off towards the action without even waiting for the others. "Great, fairy girl's gonna get herself killed," the woman grumbled. Without wasting another second, Light adjusted the long chain she had wrapped over one shoulder and across her torso, then began sprinting in the same direction as Tory, figuring the others would follow right behind.
turned, looking for the source of the sound before he realized it was some distance off. Then the winged girl took flight and he actually swore to himself. "Fuck!" Good thing he was athletic. He started running just as Light started, his feet churning up dirt as his powerful stride ate up the short distance to the treeline.
The roar echoed through the clearing and it seemed like it hadn't even faded from among the trees before Rage
was standing alone, her teammates having run off ahead. "Son of a bitch." She muttered to herself, mostly worried about Tory than anyone else. The pixy-like girl was frighteningly fragile and the idea of her meeting their target alone fueled Rage into a sprint behind the others.
Before Tory could get too far ahead of the others, the trees in front of her burst apart in an explosion of splinters. A large grey shape was all she saw of their prey, streaking across her vision. Its path was clear, as the creature had torn its way through the vegetation. From where it had come from, the faint sounds of men shouting could be heard. As to where the path led... in a direction that could lead towards the human settlement.
The splinters showered down around her and Tory
covered her head with her arms, keeping the worst of it from her face. Luckily not a lot hit her because she was still a little ways off. Once the last of it landed, Tory peeked up, a bit worried at what she would see from her vantage point. The girl instantly flew up a bit higher, out of reach of anything on the ground, and used her keen eyes to track their quarry. He was big. And obviously strong. Tory prayed for a moment that the earpieces actually worked. "I have eyes on him," she said before flying directly overhead of where he was running. "I'm sure all you do too," she added after a moment.
A cloud of leaves and wood some yards ahead caught Light
's eye before the sound of splintering wood and heavy footsteps reached her ears. With a short curse under her breath, the girl nearly slid on the ground as she quickly averted her directed, sprinting up to a wide tree where she could keep herself hidden from the huge beast traversing the woods. Until she looking over her shoulder in the direction of the creature, Light had not laid eyes on it, and seeing its gruesome size for the first time in person, the girl's eyes widened and she let out a breathy, "Holy shit." Taking only a second to catch her breath, the woman finally spoke up, addressing the other over her earpiece. "Yeah, you can say that. So are you dolls planning on using your womanly wiles to stop that thing, or would we rather not
risk it and just take him out now?"
"Please don't kill him," was all Theodore
managed to get out as he tried to keep up with the women. His build wasn't for speed, though. He was a distance type of person, and he was losing ground on Light. Tory was well ahead of him, and he knew that there was no way he would catch up with their quarry. "Ground him if you must. But alive!"
wasn't far behind everyone and she ducked behind cover as she felt the blood drain from her face. That... It was hard to believe it was a mutant. He looked like something out of a nightmare and she didn't even glance at Theodore when he spoke.
The winged creature was still after Caliban
- if he twisted his head round, he could just catch a glimpse of it in the corner of his eye. Up ahead he spotted the remains of a fallen tree. Instead of simply passing it or vaulting it, he grasped the log in one of his great, clawed hands, and flung it with his full body behind it towards Tory. Without looking to see if he hit his target, he continued breaking through the undergrowth in a downhill run.
Since she was flying overhead, Tory
saw him reach for the tree. It took a moment before she realized what he was planning on doing with it. That split second was all that was needed for the log to start flying in her direction. Without thinking, Tory tried to move out of the way, but even the breeze caused by the tree passing so closely tangled her wings beyond what the girl was capable of correcting. There was the smallest startled shriek before she plummeted, her wings buzzing fast enough to keep her from crashing too hard into the ground, but not fast enough to keep her from hitting and rolling a few times before she came to a stop, sitting on the ground and facing in the opposite direction of everyone. Including the running bulldozer currently headed in her direction.
"Don't think I could kill him if I tried, Sunshine," Light
spoke back to Theodore through the headset, keeping her head low as she watched Caliban moving swiftly into the distance. However, before she could even consider her next move, the giant, ugly creature decided it would hurl a tree - a tree
- at the winged mutant flying above the rest. As Light watched her teammate slam into the ground, not without a struggle, her body suddenly turning to fight or flight, and there was no fleeing for Light. Gritting her teeth, the girl took off in a sprint without even taking time to think, her fingertips sparking with electricity as adrenaline coursed through her veins. "Hey, big Ugly!" she called out as she ran after the demon-like mutant, "Come back here so I can kick your ass!". Sliding to a stop some several feet behind Caliban, Light flung both her arms forward, two wide threads of lightning shooting from her fingertips and heading straight for Caliban.
While his skin was thick, it wasn't impervious; Light's electrical bolts were drawn to the steel bar still piercing Caliban
's arm. With it acting like a lightning rod directly to his muscles and skeleton, the great grey mutant immediately convulsed back, all of his body rigid as the power overrode his body's commands. He collapsed to the floor, the area around the metal bar singed and letting off a thin tendril of smoke. There was no sound or sign of movement from him.
She wanted to scream... she really did. Something about watching that log fly towards Tory and then the frail girl crashing to the ground had Rage's
throat go dry until she was unable to even scream. Her winds reacted though, gushing forward and swirling around the girl in an attempt to help soften the fall and check her over. Rage's attention snapped around though when Light let loose and the massive body hit the floor. "Did you kill it?"
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